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at the battle of Neville's Cross, made of silver and "being, as it were, smoked all over." At the western end of the north aisle stood another "porch" and rood; and, of course, the greatest screen of all shut off the choir proper from the rest of the church, standing just west of the crossing, flanked by the great Neville chantry.
English Puritans seem to have spared the furnishings as well as the body of Durham. But much damage was done by Scottish prisoners who were confined within it in 1650; more was done by renovations in the last century; and still more by "restorations" in our own. Everything has gradually been swept out of the choir except the throne, which has lost its color and gilding; the altar-screen, which now lacks its hundred figures; and the stalls, which were sadly cut and altered some forty years ago. At this time too a splendid Renaissance choir-screen (built by Bishop Cosin, in 1660, to replace the ruined ancient one of stone) was ruthlessly destroyed. Its superb carvings of black oak seemed to modern purists out of keeping with a medieval interior, though in reality they must have harmonized well with the heavy Norman forms about them; and modern eyes thought it a pity that there should not be a "clear view" from end to end of the great church, though no such view would have been tolerated by its buildersthe choir being the monks' and the nave the laity's place of worship. The present screen is a fragile, undignified tracery of silvered metal"pure" pseudo-Gothic, very likely, but very certainly a more inappropriate feature than was the massive wooden structure of which a few fragments may be studied in the castle.
shrine and within it found St. Cuthbert "lying whole, uncorrupt, with his face bare, and his beard as of a fortnight's growth, and all his vestments about him. . . ." They destroyed the shrine, but respected the body and reburied it beneath the floor- and this by express order of the king, the saint of Durham having incited to superstition merely and not, like the saint of Canterbury, to treason too.
In 1827 the tomb was again opened, and in the presence of more scientific observers. In it was found the coffin which had been made by Henry's officers in 1542; within this, the successive fragments of two other coffins, evidently by their decorations those of the second interment at Durham in Flambard's time (1104), and of the original interment at Lindisfarne in 698; and then a skeleton wrapped in the rags of once-rich robes, and a second skull. The bones were reverentially replaced, but the various other objects found in the tomb may now be seen in the chapter-library — an ivory comb; a tiny oaken portable altar plated with silver; an exquisitely embroidered stole and maniple of old English workmanship; another, later, maniple; part of a girdle and two bracelets woven of gold and scarlet threads; a gold cross set with garnets, at least
BUT the supreme ornament of Durham's tion given of the choir was St. Cuthbert's shrine.
This stood, as has been said, back of the high altar on a floor raised above the pavement of the aisles and projecting like a platform into the Nine Altars. Steps for the use of pilgrims led up from the aisles, and doors in the altar-screen admitted the ecclesiastics. The shrine, as we read of it, was rebuilt in 1380. A base of green marble was worked into four seats where cripples or invalids might get rest and healing; and upon this base stood a great work of enamel and gold sprinkled with princely jewels, containing "the treasure more precious than gold or topaz" and shadowed by that banner of St. Cuthbert which went so often over the Border, and by many another flag dedicated by an English or captured from a Scottish hand.
At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry's "visitors" broke open the
contents of the coffin when it was examined in 1104; and the more ancient embroideries have been identified by the lettering they bear as those which Athelstan is recorded to have given to the shrine when he visited it at Chester-le-Street, in the year 934. Can the most skeptical doubt that here again, as by the tomb of Bede, such sentiment as he may have to spend will not be wasted on mendacious bones? Surely here beneath the pavement of Durham's choir must veritably sleep the body of St. Cuthbert the monk and the head of St. Oswald the king.
THE west front of Durham is one of the very finest in England. Its rich yet simple Norman and Transitional features are enliv
ened but not disturbed by the great middle window that was inserted in the Decorated period; and the projecting Galilee seems not at all out of place, as the nearness and the steepness of the cliff hardly lead one to expect that here the main entrance will be found.
The huge imperial majesty, though not the beauty, of the building is best realized from the Castle Green, where the whole north side lies unshrouded before us. But here too we most clearly see, on near approach, how fortunate it would have been had Wyatt and others like him never been born. In ignorant distrust of the effects which the "weathering" of seven centuries had wrought, they flayed and cut and pared the mighty surface with a pitiless hand, removing in many places several inches' depth of stone and actually casing the central tower with cement! As much as possible has been done in recent years to repair their ravage. But the beautiful color and texture which time alone can give have perished, and the planed-off inches have left the moldings and window-jambs so shallow that the old accent of massiveness and force is hopelessly impaired.
No one but an Englishman, and no Eng
lishman born earlier than the Perpendicular period, would have built a great church-tower like this central one at Durham-so tall and massive yet so simple in outline, and finished by a parapet with no thought of a spire or of any visible sort of roof. The earlier western towers had been given wooden spires covered with lead; but in the seventeenth century these were removed, and in the eighteenth their turreted battlements were added. Continental critics would tell us that such a group as we now behold has far too military an air to be ecclesiastically appropriate. The question is one for taste, not argument, to decide. But I may say that if spireless battlemented towers can ever be appropriate upon a church it is surely upon Durham's. If ever a house of God could lawfully assume a semi-military, half-forbidding, wholly stern and uncompromising air, this was surely the one.
Yet it was the shrine of the peaceful Cuthbert as well as the seat of the warlike Bek, and it played a rôle of gentle ecclesiastical ministrance as well as of stern ecclesiastical control in its far-off greatest years. Many a bloodstained foot has fled wildly towards it over this broad Castle Green, and many an inno
cent foot hounded by accusing cries. It was a famous "sanctuary" where any culprit charged with any crime could find inviolable shelter, kindly entertainment for thirty-seven days, and then, if still unjustified or unpardoned, safe transportation to the coast and passage overseas-giving in return but his full confession and his solemn oath never to seek English soil again. From a chamber over the north porch a monk watched ceaselessly to give immediate entrance; and even before entrance was given, as soon as the knocker on the door was grasped, "St. Cuthbert's peace" was won. The chamber was destroyed, alas! by Wyatt, but the knocker hangs where it has hung since lateNorman days. The empty eye-sockets of the grotesque yet splendid mask of bronze were once filled perhaps with crystal eye-balls; or perhaps and this is what we prefer to fancy a flame was set behind them that even he might not lack for guidance whose flight should be in the darkness.
ON the south side of the cathedral we find the great aggregate of once-monastic buildings in a singularly complete condition. When the monastery was " resigned" to King Henry VIII. its last prior peaceably became the first dean of the newly constituted chapter, and his successors peaceably kept their homes with all their precious contents in the time of Cromwell. In consequence, there is no place in England where we can so well understand what a great monastery looked like in pre-Reformation days, or how its populous colony lived. We should find the picture still more complete but for the demon of last-century renovation.
The chapter-house, for instance, kept its Norman form uninjured until the year 1791a great room finished towards the east with a semicircular apse, vaulted throughout, encircled by a tall arcade with intersecting arches, below which was a stone bench for the monks High up on the northern end of the Nine in council and at the east end a stone chair Altars stand the sculptured figures of a milk- where the long line of prelate-princes had sat maid and a cow. The group is comparatively for consecration, and paved with many sepulmodern, but the legend it perpetuates is most chral slabs bearing famous ecclesiastical names. ancient. It was a woman seeking her strayed No such fine Norman chapter-house remained beast who guided the bearers of St. Cuth- in England, and no other building whatsoever bert's coffin when they could not find the "Dunholme" where he wished to rest.
PLAN OF DURHAM CATHEDRAL AND MONASTIC BUILDINGS. (FROM MURRAY'S "HAND-BOOK TO THE CATHEDRALS OF ENGLAND.") A. High altar. C. Site of St. Cuthbert's tomb. E. Refectory. F. Dormitory. K. Prior's (now dean's) house. 16. Bede's tomb. VOL. XXXV.-35-36.
to show how the Normans had vaulted their apses. Yet, to make things more comfortable" for modern dean and canon, the apse and the adjacent walls for about half the length of the room were pulled down, and the mutilated remainder was inclosed and floored and plastered so that not a sign of its splendid stones remained. A few years ago, however, these stones were again exposed to view, and the ground outside, once covered by the apse, was carefully examined. Several very ancient tombs were then identified, and in the library may now be seen three episcopal rings which were found within them one, set with a great sapphire, having been Ralph Flambard's. Our plan will show how the chapter-house opens upon one side of the cloisters and how its other sides are built against the church itself, the dormitory, and the refectory. From the earliest ages the arrangement was the same; but almost all parts of the buildings were more than once renewed. The cloister walks, now greatly modernized, date from the Perpendicular period, and so also do the dormitory and the refectory, though each of them is raised upon a much older vaulted basement. The dormitory formed for many years part of a canon's house, but has now been brought back as nearly as possible to its old estate. The wooden partitions which divided it into separate sleeping-cells have disappeared, of course; but one hardly regrets their absence, since it leaves free to the eye the whole vast interior - 194 feet in length lighted by ranges of noble traceried windows and covered by an oaken ceiling, rude yet massive and grand in effect, the great tree-trunks which form its beams having scarcely been squared by the axe. The room is now used to hold a portion of the large and valuable chapterlibrary and sundry other interesting collections, -of brilliant episcopal vestments, of coins and seals, and of Roman, Celtic, old- English, and Norman antiquities of Northumbrian origin.
The main portion of the library, including a collection of illuminated MSS. which has scarcely a superior in England outside of the British Museum, is housed in the old refectory. Here too are kept the relics which were found in St. Cuthbert's grave and the fragments of his earlier coffins. He who would understand the far-off roots and the first crude growths of medieval art in the north of England finds his best place of study in these richly filled and wisely administered libraries at Durham.*
* I should be very ungrateful did I forget to note that in one important respect Durham stands at the head of the English cathedrals. Here of all places the tourist feels himself a welcome guest and one for whose pleasure and instruction infinite pains are will ingly taken by all dignitaries and officials, from the highest to the humblest. The local hand-book, written by Canon Greenwell, is a pearl of its kind. And I find I
Many minor rooms and buildings lie around or near these cloisters, chief among them in interest the old priors' kitchen. I think there is but one other kitchen of the sort still intact in England, and that one- at Glastonbury — now stands isolated in a field and never knows the warmth of useful fires, while this one still serves the household of the dean. It is a great octagonal structure with a steep roof which covers a remarkable vaulted ceiling-so stately a structure that a passer-by used to modern ways of living and modern architectural devices would (but for its chimneys) surely say, A baptistery or a chapel - never, A kitchen. The old priors' house also remains as the dwelling of the modern deans — altered, of course, and in the usual practical, irreverent way, the private chapel forming now three chambers.
Beyond all these lies the dean's lovely gar den, the quiet circle of the canons' houses and the quiet sweep of their own outer gardens looking down upon the Wear. So much remains at Durham, in short, that it is hard to remember that certain things have perished even here for example, the great hall of the monastery and its church-like hospital.
The picture is not quite so exquisite as that which greater ruin has wrought at Canterbury. But it is as beautiful in a soberer fashion, and it has the added charm of a lifted outlook over a splendid landscape. Surely there can be nothing like it in all the world-nothing at once so homogeneous and so infinitely varied, so old in body yet so alive and fresh in mood. There is no class or kind of building which is not represented between the castle on the northern and the garden walls upon the southern verge of this rich promontory. There is scarcely a year of the last eight hundred which has not somewhere left some traces on it. And there is no sort of life which it has not seen, and the sort which rules to-day is as wholly different from the ancient sorts as fancy could conceive. Yet nowhere can we choose a date and say, Here the old life ceased and the new began. Nowhere can we put finger on stone and say, This was to serve religion only, or material existence only, or only war or ostentation; or, This was for use alone, and this alone for beauty. All times are here and all things are here, and all aims and motives have here found expression; but all things are intertwined in one great entity, and all times join in one vast historic panorama.
am but one of many who remember the head-verger, Mr. Wetherell, as a pearl of his kind. More than one widely traveled architect has cited him in my hearing as the best guide he had met in Europe- fully and correctly informed, patient and clear in exposition, interesting to the ignorant. yet instructive even to the professional sight-seer, and filled with an enthusiasm as wise and discriminating as it is warm and contagious.
This means that this is England. Not in some new Birmingham hot with money-making fires, black with art-destroying cinders, and deaf to the voice of long-dead years; not in some old deserted Kenilworth or Fountains, beautiful only, useful no longer, a monument of death and destruction, a milestone to show how wide a space may lie between the currents of medieval and of modern life - not there do we find the real England really pictured; but here in this Durham which was once military and monastic and feudal, and is now commercial, collegiate, domestic, and in politics boldly liberal, yet where there has been neither sudden change nor any forgetting and very little abandonment or loss-only slow, natural growth and development and the wear and tear and partial retrogressions which all growth, all development must involve. Modern life standing upon ancient life as on a worn but puissant and respected pedestal; learning alive despite the hurry of trade; religion alive despite the widening of the moral horizon; Protestantism grown from Catholicism yet not harshly dissevered from its rituals or traditions, nor scornful of its artistic legacy; things monastic supplanted by things domestic within the Church yet the Church still served with reverence and dignity and grace; the aristocrat, the soldier, and the prelate still keep ing some shreds of civil power notwithstanding the upgrowth of the plebeian layman's power this is what England means to those who see her land and her living as a whole. This and all of this is what Durham means to those who study its stones and its records together. All this is typified in that splendid throne of its bishop-princes in which a bishop still sits but a prince no longer. As this throne still stands in use and honor, so the old order of things is still revered in the land, while the loss of the
color and gold which once adorned it may seem to tell of the gradual perishing away of England's old artistic gift, and the mutilation of the effigy it covers, of the shorn authority of that class which once had no rivals in its ruling.
It is needless to try to tell which are the best points for seeing Durham from a distance they are so many and each in turn seems so supremely good. Some of the very best, moreover, we are very sure to get from the railroad station which lies a little out of the town to the north-west and from the road which thence brings us into it over a great bridge near the castle.
It would be hopeless to try to describe the outward view which may be had from the cathedral's central tower. It is not a very pleasant task to climb to the top of any such old construction. Medieval builders had little care for the life or limbs of sight-seers; or perhaps medieval sight-seers did not seek for "views" as do we to-day. It is like a bad dream to clamber up this tower up a narrow winding staircase to the church's roof and then up a still narrower and steeper and darker staircase to the roof of the tower, turning about on exiguous steps uneven from the tread of centuries, and feeling our way by the rough convex stones. But it is like another sort of dream to come out at last, after more than three hundred painful mountings, upon the broad parapeted platform and see the magnificent wide panorama undulating away into the hilly distance and enlivened beneath the church's feet by the silver twistings of the rock-bound Wear. Hence, only a mile away, we can see where the battle of Neville's Cross was fought; and here the monks crowded to see it, in terror, doubtless, lest defeat might mean an instant siege within their home. M. G. van Rensselaer.
EW days are dear, and cannot be unloved,
Though in deep grief we cower and cling to death:
Who has not known, in living on, a breath
Full of some gladness that life's rapture proved?
If I have felt that in this rainbow world
The very best was but a preface given
To tell of infinite greater tints in heaven,
And, life or no, heaven yet would be unfurled :—
I did belie the soul-wide joys of earth,
And feelings deep as lights that dwell in seas.
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop.